Paratalk or torque?

Suzie Eisfelder

My new column, with a title that somehow makes sense. From now on until I stop I will be examining a paragraph in whatever detail I choose. This is also a good time for guests to pop in and do their own paragraph.

Today’s paragraph is from a book I took from my shelf with the lights off so I had no idea what I’d picked up until I got into the light. It’s by Adam Ant, musician from the 1980s (and still playing but I know of him from the ’80s), called Stand & Deliver: The autobiography. I’m giving you three paragraphs as the second one is very short and I laughed.

‘Who’s this?’ asked the doctor when I was called into a cubicle.

‘Mr Ant,’ sniggered a nurse.

The doctor wasn’t as amused by my name as his staff were, and was clearly offended by my (and my friends’) appearance, so he savagely worked stitches into my head after claiming that there was no anaesthetic for such an occasion. It hurt like hell for days after and hurt even more a week later when, performing at Eric’s, a tiny Liverpool venue that saw the debut gigs of, among others, the Teardrop Explodes and Echo and The Bunnymen, I leapt up and split the stitches open again.

You’ve probably laughed already so I won’t point it out. This paragraph amused me, it’s from 1977 and it illustrates what drew me to Adam Ant in the first place. Nowadays I probably would say ‘what a pretty face’ and then continue on but back then these things were more interesting to me. He was very vibrant and active on stage, this is born out by this paragraph. He split his head open leaping up and hitting it on a low beam. I’m still not sure what the low beam did to Ant to deserve being hit but the low beam came out the best there. The wording shows how uncaring the doctor was ‘savagely worked stitches’ if they’d been placed carefully then the wording would have reflected that action. Don’t ask me if anaesthetic is contraindicated for such a wound, it’s not something I’ve checked.

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